Bendtner: Double Power or Reverse Adebayor

For some reason, Nicklas Bendtner has decided that the number 52 will bring him better luck in the new season. He is also offering a offering a full refund to anyone who bought merchandise with his old number from any of the Arsenal Stores. Speaking to he said

“I appreciate that a good number of fans have bought their kits for 2009/10 already with names and numbers printed up so I’d like to personally cover the cost of replacing anyone’s shirt that has my previous number. It means a lot to see supporters wearing your name and number, and I want to ensure people aren’t inconvenienced by the change.”

But why 52? Could it be because 26 x 2 = 52 hence he’d be more productive with the number or does it have anything to do with Adebayor’s departure? We all know he never got on well with the Togonian and they had that famous altercation in the Carling cup game against Spurs. Maybe it’s to spite him and to tell the fans that he’s going be the exact opposite as 52 is the inverse of 25! We’ll wait and see.

Elsewhere Theo Walcott was an unused sub as England fought from 2-0 down at half time to earn creditable 2-2 draw with the Netherlands in Amsterdam. Robin Van Persie was withdrawn at halftime. Eduardo was on target as Croatia won 3-1 away in Belarus to help strengthen their World Cup qualifying claims. William Gallas and Bacary Sagna both played for 90 minutes as France laboured to a 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands in World Cup qualifying.

Andrey Arshavin was on the wrong end of a 2-3 home loss to Argentina in another friendly. Senderos also had a  full run-out as Switzerland played out a  0-0 draw with World Champions Italy. Johann Djourou had earlier been withdrawn from the squad.

I can’t seem to find a match report for the Tunisia vs Ivory Coast game which ended 0-0 but an Achille Webo brace secured a 2-0 away win for Cameroon in Austria. Aaron Ramsey played 75 minutes as Wales lost 2-1 to Montenegro in another friendly.

Seems like Alex Hleb is regretting his move to Barcelona. Speaking to ESPN he said:

“For me, leaving Arsenal was not a good move. A footballer only exists when he takes to the field and makes a proper contribution to the team and even though I was part of a Barca squad that was almost unstoppable, it was hard not to feel detached from all the happiness and celebration at the end.

“Barca were my dream club as a kid, but I couldn’t continue with them if the chance to play was not coming. I’m 28 and who knows how much time I’ve left in the game. I needed to move on and the chance to go back to a place that I feel happy in was the best solution.”

Serves you right for leaving! His career has clearly taken a backward step as he is back at Stuttgart on a season-long loan deal from Barcelona who clearly did not want him.

Apparently, Barcelona have offered us 27m for Cesc Fabregas. If it’s true then its a ridiculously low amount to bid. Could they just be testing the waters? If he plays against Celtic on Tuesday then he’d be cup-tied for Europe and they’d have to abandon their bid.

Ray Parlour thinks Andrey Arshavin and William Gallas will be key players for Arsenal in the new season and I quite agree. Defensive stability and attacking creativity are two areas we have fallen short on in recent times. If they are at their best I’m sure they can act that solidity and experience to the entire team. He also thinks we need to strengthen in certain areas (what else is new Ray)if we are to come close in the title race.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he says

“I’m hopeful, but I think it’s going to be tough for them,” Parlour told Sky Sports News. “I still think they need a couple more players. I think Arsene Wenger’s still looking at the market and saying ‘can we strengthen?’

“A central midfielder for me is vital. Maybe a centre-half.

Neven Subotic (the Dortmund defender we were linked to yesterday) says he has had no contact from Arsenal. Not strange given the fact we are practically linked to every up and coming young player in Europe these days.

Stuart “Psycho” Pearce insists that young Jack Wilshere should not be over hyped. After his herioics in preseason as well as making his U21 debut this week, you’d expect there to be much talk about him everywhere. Speaking to the daily telegraph he said;

“I find it a little bit sad that we over-hype players, because I know what is around the corner,”

However, this is a point Wenger has been making for a while that you need a player to develop at the right pace and should not overawe him as it could affect his progress. I’m glad the England bosses know this and hope they will allow him develop as he should.

Finally, According to the daily mirror, we seem to have called off our bid for Maroune Chamakh after Arsene decided not to raise his intial offer. So who will we sign We’ll see eh?

Till tomorrow…Victoria Concordia Crescit!

Three days to the start of the Premier League season

Three days to the start of the Premier League season, my blog is still not up and running and it’s becoming a worry as I can’t seem to get off Fifa 2009…(oops)

The boss too seems to be rather excited. Speaking to BBC sport, Arsene Wenger shared his thoughts on the season ahead

“I envisage only one order, that is Arsenal finishing on top and all the rest can do what they want. “To rate our potential, look at our pre-season games. We are a team who has a way to play and we are a team who are ready to fight. “Let’s have a go. Let’s not talk too much. We know that people are sceptical about us but I let people talk. Let’s win the games.”

This is heartening and tells of his unflinching support of the team.

That said, news from Switzerland say Djourou has been withdrawn from the Swiss team with some knee trouble. . .hoping it’s not too serious. Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld told the Swiss FA’s official website:

“We don’t want to take an unnecessary risk shortly before the start of his club’s season.”

Kudos to the Swiss National team for giving player/club consideration at the beginning of a new season. . .usually a row would erupt about should he or should he not play.

In other news, Jack Wilshere made his debut for the England U21’s  against Holland in a game that ended  0-0. Two other young guns Kieran Gibbs (England) and Nacer Barazite (Holland) were also on show with Armand Traore in line to start for France in their friendly clash with their Polish counterparts on Wednesday evening. An amazing 13 players are also away on internationals so it’s quite a busy midweek given that the number is nearly half our first team squad. Hopefully, they’ll come through it without too many knocks.

Congratulations to ‘Dare who got his first Arsenal Tickets (for the Portsmouth game) today…Upper tier and all.

Till tomorrow…Victoria Concordia Crescent